Chad Ochocinco doesn’t want to be a distraction.
The Bengals’ wide receiver apparently has reversed course after saying he planned to wear the No. 15 jersey of teammate Chris Henry, who died Thursday, in a game at San Diego.
Ochocinco donned Henry’s practice jersey Thursday and had said he wanted to wear his game jersey Sunday against the Chargers. However, the NFL informed the Bengals that Ochocinco wouldn’t be able to do so.
While Henry’s No. 15 jersey will be on the sideline during the game, it doesn’t look like it will be on the field. Ochocinco doesn’t believe he’ll wear the jersey, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, saying, “I don’t want to be a distraction.”
Earlier Saturday, NFL Players Association assistant executive director for external affairs Geroge Atallah posted a tweet in which he said the union “will cover any fine” levied against Ochocinco by the league and “match it with a gift to our Chris Henry memorial fund.” Technically, though, that would be illegal under league rules. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the league rule that states it is illegal for any entity to pay the fine imposed from a violation of the league’s uniform policy. Such fines are taken directly from a player’s salary.
Told of the offer by the NFLPA, Ochocinco told Bengals.com that he doesn’t want the scenario to be a problem with coach Marvin Lewis.
“I’m going to work through Marvin on that,” Ochocinco said.
For now, that’s the latest.